SOUTH SALT LAKE — As the Peruvian population in Utah grows, so has demand for consular services — a place where those originally from the South American nation can get new passports and identity cards, among other things.

Now, talk of creating a consular office is finally turning into action and a Peruvian Consulate is coming to Utah, the third such office here, according to leaders in the Peruvian community. David Utrilla, who used to serve as honorary consul in Utah for Peru, said Monday that the new full-time consul has been named, though a brick-and-mortar location has not yet opened.

“The new consul is waiting for his credentials from the U.S. State Department before starting his duties,” Utrilla said. Once it opens, the Peruvian Consulate would join the Mexican and Salvadoran consulates and become the third fully operational foreign consular office in Utah.

A post on the Peruvian Consulate Facebook page in January identified the new consul general as Czibor Chicata-Sutmöller, and Chicata-Sutmöller said in an accompanying announcement earlier this year that a site needs to be selected before the office can open. He also said "system and procedures" need to be created governing the office's operations.

Peruvian Consulate officials in Salt Lake City and Denver didn't immediately respond Monday to queries seeking comment. Whatever the case, members of the growing Peruvian contingent in Utah are eager for the new office to get up and running. As is, the Peruvian Consulate in Denver has been the closest office providing consular functions — issuing passports and helping children born in the United States to Peruvian parents get Peruvian identity cards, for instance.

Oswaldo Briceño and his son James wear Peruvian soccer jerseys as they shop at La Pequeñita International Market in South Salt Lake on Monday. Peru is to open a consulate in Salt Lake City. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

"It's about time for the consulate to be functioning because there's a lot of need," said Carlos Roman. He's a Peruvian expatriate who operates a South Salt Lake store that caters to Peruvians and others originally from South America, La Pequeñita Market.

Deny Alfaro, originally from Trujillo, Peru, echoed that as he shopped at La Pequeñita. His Peruvian identity card, which he’d like to maintain, has expired, while he’d like to get Peruvian identity papers for his U.S.-born granddaughter so she can have double U.S.-Peruvian nationality. Traveling to the consulate in Denver is time-consuming, while the population of Peruvians in Utah, he maintains, merits creation of an office to serve them.

“The Peruvian community is growing,” Alfaro said. When Utrilla started as honorary consul, a volunteer position, in the late 2000s, maybe 15,000 Peruvians lived in Utah, he said, but he now estimates that 45,000 to 50,000 Peruvians or Peruvian Americans live here. Demand for consular services has correspondingly grown as well, and he suspects the number of Peruvians in Utah will keep rising.

“The growth has been enormous since then,” said Utrilla, alluding to his arrival in Utah about 30 years ago. “I think in the coming years, it’s going to grow even more at a more rapid pace.”

Officials from the Peruvian Consulate in Denver will be in Salt Lake City from Wednesday through Saturday offering passport services to expatriates here, according to posts on the Facebook pages of the Salt Lake City and Denver consulate offices. Beyond underscoring demand for services, though, the creation of a consulate office is symbolic of the Peruvian community's growth in Utah.

In his 15 years here, Roman, too, has seen the population from the South American nation blossom. The 45,000 to 50,000 figure would make those with Peruvian roots the largest Latino contingent in Utah behind Mexicans and Mexican Americans, though some in the Venezuelan community say their numbers have grown significantly.

"Everybody's looking for opportunity," Roman said, explaining the growth. "We have a bad situation, a bad economic situation in South America."

Oswaldo Briceño, originally from Lima, Peru, the nation's capital, was shopping in La Pequeñita with his son James, both clad in jerseys of the Peruvian national soccer team. Like others, he said having to travel to Denver for consular services — he'd like to get his U.S.-born son a Peruvian passport — can be onerous.

What’s more, he, too, sees rapid growth in the Peruvian population, noting the many new restaurants offering food from the nation. He lives in Syracuse and has started coming across more and more Peruvians, who have traditionally lived in Salt Lake County, moving to Davis County.

“It’s been growing,” Briceño said.